Technology Q&A

by Patrick Flanagan

Leaders from the local tech community ponder the question: What's missing from Acadiana's tech ecosystem?


What's missing from Acadiana's tech ecosystem to help grow your business?
ABiz put the question to leaders from the local tech community:
Julie Calzone / Calzone & Associates**
I really can find everything I need here for IT support and personnel. The only thing lacking is a belief from Acadiana businesses that they can find it here.

Daniel Kedinger / BBR Creative
Acadiana already has great Internet bandwidth, people and infrastructure. What could take us to the next level is better organization and collaboration among the various stakeholders in order to maximize the great resources we have here.

Brandon Myers / CMIT Solutions of Acadiana
The sluggish pace at which reasonably priced, high-speed Internet has propagated out to those areas of Acadiana outside of Lafayette. Either by way of a shamefully uneven cost-to-speed ratio or just outright unavailability, businesses in these rural communities are being shut out from many new and beneficial cloud-based technologies.

Marianne Bourgeois / Apex Innovations
Apex Innovations builds and delivers highly interactive health care education serving over 350,000 customers. With many infrastructures to manage, rapid advances in technology requires experienced IT and development team members who must constantly learn and stay ahead of evolving technology. In Acadiana, this presents an ever-growing and constant challenge to find and retain this exceptional talent.

Scott Lavergne / Enterprise Data Concepts
Acadiana needs more qualified people. We have some really talented and highly skilled individuals working in the tech industry. However, there isn't enough of them. When we look to hire it is always a struggle to find the people we need. Our local colleges are working hard to improve the situation, but there is still a deficit of skilled IT labor.

Frankie Russo / Potenza Creative
I'd say the biggest thing missing is fresh, pre-trained talent. With few web development trade schools or advanced web development courses offered at the local colleges, it's hard to hire new talent. Creating more options for education - especially for open source web technology like PHP, JavaScript and HTML/CSS - would really increase our local talent pool and cultivate a more competitive market resulting in natural growth.

Spencer Hoyt / Comit Developers
I believe the Acadiana area is lacking a mentoring program in technology to help train and educate students seeking careers in the tech field. It's the classic chicken and egg analogy in that students often lack the experience to join the workforce yet the employers are seeking skilled labor for their new hires.

Lee Knott / Total Network Technologies
Education. As an IT consulting firm, we often find that many businesses lack the knowledge of what technology options are available to them and how to use them. Acadiana is a technology rich area, yet most do not have the understanding of how IT can improve functionality, organization and productivity.

Jared Allardyce / Wide Web Marketing
Nothing is currently missing or stopping us from growing and helping other Acadiana businesses grow through technology. But it is important that we continue to support local technology education as well as efforts to attract talented people to this area to keep up with future workforce needs.

John Mora / Synergy Information Technology Group
We would love to see more public and community resources devoted to educating the users and owners of existing local businesses. Helping them define their IT needs and locate the correct vendors would benefit everyone. Current programs only seem to focus on startups. There is no public technology venue or forums.

Chris Rader / Rader Solutions
I don't think there is anything missing. We are rich with bandwidth leveraging LUS Fiber and hosting at LITE, rich with talent from UL and the technical schools, and rich in clients [lots of brain power from this area].

[Editor's note: Check out our annual listing of Acadiana's top tech companies below [or click here for a PDF version], including brief profiles and a look at the various areas of expertise found within the local tech community.]